Dillian Whyte is set for talks early in 2019 over a Wembley showdown with Anthony Joshua.
The Brixton heavyweight produced a devastating 11th round knockout of Dereck Chisora at Greenwich’s 02 Arena last weekend.
And Whyte looks almost certain to rematch Joshua next year. Eddie Hearn, who promotes both men, reckons that the South Londoner will be made mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBO world title by the end of January – meaning the Watford man will either have to defend against his fellow Brit or be stripped of that belt.
And Whyte is also ranked number one by the WBC. But if he wanted to cement mandatory status with that governing body it could involve a final eliminator against American Dominic Breazeale.
The 30-year-old already looks the most viable opponent for Joshua, provided he does not seal a unification with WBC champion Deontay Wilder – who looks most likely to rematch Tyson Fury.
Hearn has an April 13 date at Wembley which has been planned as a Joshua title defence. The Watford man knocked out Whyte in seven rounds in December 2015 – but not before being badly rocked himself. Both fighters have matured a lot since.
Hearn said: “We’ve got to sit down with Dillian and his team and see if there’s a deal to be done in April.
“I don’t believe Wilder will fight Joshua in April, so we’ll sit down pretty much immediately.
“Dillian has become a pay-per-view fighter in his own right.
The feeling I get from Dillian is that of course he wants a world title fight, but the feeling I also get is he wants to stay active, stay relevant in big fights and continue to improve.”
Whyte had a kick-boxing background before beating Joshua in the amateurs. His knockout of Chisora was his 25th victory with only that one reverse to his long-term foe.
“I started from nowhere,” said Whyte. “I had no amateur experience. No one can say I have had it easy.”
Whyte had already won a split decision verdict over Chisora two years ago and once again their rematch last Saturday saw some brutal exchanges.
Whyte was trailing by a point on two of the scorecards – he was ahead by the same margin on the other – when he produced a wide left hook which took his opponent out.
“Dereck presses you – you have to set traps. I didn’t think I was behind. I was outboxing him every round. I was in control of the fight.”
Whyte’s title fight credentials have been endorsed by Bermondsey’s two-weight world champion David Haye.
The Hayemaker had managed Chisora in the build-up to a rematch dubbed “the brawl to settle it all”.
“His last three fights – Lucas Browne, Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora – has proven that he deserves the next shot at a title outside of AJ, Fury and Wilder,” said Haye.
“He didn’t have to fight [Chisora] and he did great.”
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